Mary Shannon, founder of Connectus Worldwide, is praised for her dedication to diversity and inclusion in Kansas City's business scene, notably through her involvement in the CEO-to-CEO Challenge with KC Rising. Leveraging her corporate diversity expertise, Shannon emphasizes the value of diverse teams in decision-making and profitability. Her participation aims to secure contracts for her firm while spotlighting minority-owned businesses, aligning with research on the economic benefits of diversity. The CEO-to-CEO Challenge promotes collaboration with minority-owned enterprises for mutual growth and societal progress, with participants like Steve McDowell committing to diversity in their industries. By fostering these relationships, the initiative addresses income disparities and advocates for inclusivity, aiming to create a more equitable and prosperous business environment in Kansas City.